Grants program to support wildlife rehabilitators and shelters

Licenced wildlife shelters and foster carers receiving animals as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires were eligible to apply for a Victorian Government grant of up to $1000.

These grants are now closed.  Further information can be found on the links below:

2019-20 Bushfire rehabilitator grant program

Wildlife Rehabilitator Bushfire Grants Frequently Asked Questions

Access and safety in and around fire-affected areas

  • Firegrounds are considered dangerous and access to these areas is restricted.
  • Even after a fire has passed, fire-affected trees pose a very high risk to human safety.
  • DELWP has qualified Wildlife Assessment Teams that can be deployed to fire-affected areas to undertake wildlife assessment

For current fire warnings and emergency, information visit Vic Emergency

For the latest information on road closures in fire-affected areas visit VicRoads

During bushfires, DELWP has trained Wildlife Assessment Teams who may be supported by accredited volunteers to help with the assessment of wildlife when it is deemed safe to do so.

Authorised volunteers deployed by DELWP to wildlife emergencies are required to work within established emergency management structures, including the following:

  • prerequisite training and accreditation
  • registration
  • communication and reporting procedures
  • the use of approved personal protective equipment (PPE) and
  • the adoption of hazard specific safety measures.

Frequently asked questions for Wildlife Shelters and Foster Carers

I have evacuated from the address specified on my wildlife shelter authorisation due to the bushfires – what do I need to do?

If you have moved wildlife in your care to another shelter, both parties should record the transfer in your record sheets.

If you have moved to a temporary address (that is not already a shelter) contact DELWP on 136 186 or email who can update the address details and issue you a new authorisation (don’t forget to repeat this step when you move back to your premises).

In either case, please contact DELWP so that we can help re-direct any enquiries for wildlife that needs care appropriately.

I am at capacity and can’t care for anymore wildlife

Please contact Wildlife Victoria on (03) 8400 7300 who can provide advice on authorised wildlife shelters and foster carers in the area in addition to options for transportation.

If you have allowed DELWP to provide your contact details to the public, we can temporarily remove your contact details until you notify us. It is also suggested that you update your own social media to advise people that you are at capacity.

Are there any grants or assistance available to help with the care of wildlife impacted by fire?

Licenced wildlife shelters and foster carers who are receiving animals as a result of current bushfires are eligible to apply for a Victorian Government grant of up to $1000 by completing a simple online application form.

The entire process has been streamlined to speed payments and minimise administration burden.

Apply for a grant

To assist us, please ensure that you have provided DELWP with a current mobile number or email address. To update your authorisation details, please contact DELWP on 136 186.

I have received an animal that is listed as a threatened species – what should I do?

Please notify your local DELWP office within 48 hours of acquiring an animal listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (as per condition 13 of your authorisation).  

Regardless, the welfare of the individual animal should be given priority – if the animal is suffering it should be taken to a vet as soon as possible.  

DELWP has also engaged Zoos Victoria and other specialist wildlife vets to assist with threatened species. To access these vets, please contact

Shelters are requested to keep any deceased threatened species (providing you can keep them in a freezer) so that DELWP can collect them for research purposes.

Can the media come to film wildlife in my care?

Under condition 20 of your authorisation, you must have prior written approval from a DELWP Authorised Officer before allowing wildlife to be filmed. DELWP is happy to facilitate these requests where –

  • filming will not compromise the welfare and rehabilitation of the wildlife
  • an appropriate message is conveyed to the public
  • filming will occur at the address specified on your authorisation.

Please contact your regional DELWP office with your requests and we will try and facilitate these as quickly as possible.

Can I take photos of wildlife in my care and post on social media to request assistance from the public?

DELWP appreciates the hard work and resources wildlife carers provide in looking after injured and orphaned wildlife.  Any images you post of wildlife in your care should provide an appropriate message to the public.

DELWP wishes to remind you to check to see if you are exempt from registering under the Fundraising Act 1988 prior to undertaking any fundraising activities.  Further information can be found at:

Page last updated: 03/08/20